There’s many posts and media slamming general awareness (or lack of action and discipline) around the need for social distancing and basic hygiene.
It makes me think of 3 C’s we might all want to remind ourselves of as we collectively traverse an unusual evolution around the annoying ‘C’ that is the coronavirus, COVID 19:
1) Common Denominators (especially in personal care)
Do you know we still have hairdryers in hotels and public service locations, such as gyms, with labels reminding patrons to ‘not take the dryer, or other electrical appliances, into the shower’.’
As strange and obvious as it may seem, we must still have folks doing just that for such labels to exist.
I noticed another sign at the gym recently, before they closed, where patrons were also reminded not to take newspapers into the steam room. Really? Unless you’re building some kind of public artwork in paper mache, why would you?
So forget viruses for just a second and think about any multitude of daily endeavors or mundane tasks.
I’m sure mechanics find some of their own customers lacking in perceived ‘common sense’. Perhaps those who have no idea of the basics like checking oil and water.
So when it comes to basic hygiene, yes, washing ones hands (properly, the surgical method, not the 10 second ‘blinkist’ rushed version) or being polite enough to not coughing all over peers are required common sense by all right about now.
Take the opportunity to help re educate.
(This also ties into the 3rd point actually; which we’ll get to in a moment)
When WW2 was ramping up, when Britons especially found themselves under siege, a lightning war aerial attack of ceaseless bombardment from the Luftwaffe, there was fear. Yes.
Yet there was also courage and responding to the fear was a united and collaborative approach. Not bloody-minded selfishness at the expense of others.
In fact it’s well documented that for many there was a sense of fear and excitement co existing as communities adopted new habits and daily disruptions for an indefinite period.
They did so frequently as a collective unit. It’s called camaraderie. Having a broader awareness of others, along with a sense of community care.
Actual rationing had to be enforced back then. Even then people still looked out for each other.
Yes you can come into this bomb raid shelter, potentially already pretty packed.
The panic buying for loo paper, along with the other items such as sanitizers, only serves to highlight the selfish nature of a minor percentage of the population. All of which caused a backlog.
It’s good that the supermarket chains made the decision of restricting certain item purchases back to normal range.
I’m sure there will be much that comes to light in the coming weeks, months and years around human behavior.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find links with panic buyers and doomsday preppers to themes such as having an unwillingness to share ones toys in childhood, extreme preferences in certain types of functional social behavior and, the more obvious ones, of intelligence (IQ & EQ) along with prior life experiences that might trigger such panic.
We also don’t know what someone else has experienced to make them react such a way. As annoying as it is, let’s be kind anyway, even to those doomsday preppers with more bags of flour than they’ll ever know what to do with.
3) Change – The path, awareness of complacency, chaos and a new competency.
The path of change is an individual journey. Right now people are, both personally and professionally, having to adapt massively.
Hence we link back into the first point about reminders of what we take for granted at times.
The path of change can be simplified to 3 stages:
Resistance to the change / Resigning oneself to the change.
I’d label these together because resignation of having to do something may still be underpinned with negativity and a sense of resistance.
As long as we resist, we cannot progress.
Resistance to change is like ambiguity to clarity.
‘Ambiguity kills clarity at such times. And without clarity there can be no progression.’
Ambiguity might be great in terms of innovation, politicking and blue sky creative dreaming; yet in times of crisis, it can be the equivalent of a sneaky serial killer.
The same can be said of any resistance to inevitable change.
Acceptance to the change
This is where we want to get to swiftly.
Once we find a space of acceptance, giving up the struggle and fight, we are better equipped, mentally and with intelligence, to proactively, constructively, find solutions and actions to move to stage 3
Commitment to new actions and behavior
Once in a space of acceptance, we move forward, flowing more easily, with whatever tides we have to swim with or deal.
In a situation like COVID19, there’s no putting Pandora back in the box. The virus is out.
The panic gripping masses, not particularly helped by social media content or irresponsible journalism, only fuels people’s fears and paranoia’s.
The virus will have an effect; the demographics most at risk are the ones we want to worry about physically.
The measures of social distancing for a short term and basic hygiene are so we can all get back to a normal word of interaction far swifter than otherwise.
The longer we resist, the more we panic, the less camaraderie we show, the longer the chaos remains.
The longer this chaos remains the greater the impact to everyone long term. A greater looming risk otherwise being faced by the majority, as we already know, in the long run is one of financial and economic strain and duress.
Lets put people first. Let’s think about the total community. And then let’s get back to some semblance of soundness economically: swiftly. Together.
Consider adjustments right now to short terms periods of work from home, social distancing or any other changes are deliberate chaos.
What do I mean by that?
The start and end point of the path of any change is not competency. It’s complacency.
We become complacent. (Hence why people also forget basic hygiene at times) and, as a development professional, I deliberately inject chaos with businesses periodically to help gain the next level of competence.
Right now, don’t fear the changes. Find a way to embrace it with kindness, acceptance and love.
If we can all do that then perhaps we might find again the sense of camaraderie that our ancestors had when, arguably, facing crisis more significant and uncertain in many ways.
The current strain of coronavirus, one of many, having masses losing their minds is an opportunity for all of us to embrace our humanity.
It’s also an ideal opportunity for both personal and professional growth.
Just seems to me a better headspace to be in than being a little like Harry Potter. Hiding in a home, perhaps a cupboard under the stairs, with 200 rolls of loo paper, 100 hand sanitizer squeezies and about the same amount of tinned soups.